Teacher Spotlight: Media Elementary's Jana Maxwell

This Media Elementary art teacher wants her students to be aware of their surroundings.

Teacher Spotlight is where we will feature a local teacher who deserves recognition. Teachers give a lot to their students, schools and studies and we'd like to recognize them and say a simple, thank you, for all that they do.

This Media Elementary School art teacher likes the hand-on experience of teaching art. She says art helps children become more critical thinkers and to become more observant in all aspects of life.


Teacher: Jana Maxwell

School: Media Elementary School

Grade/Subject: Art 1st through 5th grades

Years in the industry: 25 years

Teaching History:

Maxwell has taught art at Media Elementary for 23 and a half years. Prior to that she taught in Interboro and William Penn school districts. She attended Penn State University and Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. and University of the Arts for graduate work.

Why did you become a teacher:

The amount of time that people are working with their hands is going down and I want to encourage more and more connection with working with your hands. So many things are virtual now, I like that direct connection with the world and teaching art as experience to children. Also, because I think art helps children become more critical thinkers and it carries into the world. If a child doesn't grow up to be an artist, they can at least recognize what some famous artist's do and why. Plus, they learn to be more observant in all different jobs.

What do you like most about your job:

I like seeing what the children have created. And I like hearing the kids talk about how important it is to them when they might not tell me about it. When things come back to me later, when parents tell me their child talks about an art project, I think that's what I like the most. I like seeing the products and hearing that it carries through their lives.

What do you hope your students get out of your classes:

Visual awareness and to pay attention to their surroundings. I really want kids to pay attention to their surroundings because a lot of people aren't doing that these days.

If you could change anything about education, what would it be:

I would like to see more thematic and experiential education. More hands-on and less testing.

What do you like best about your current school:

It's a family and people corroborate instead of compete. The big message here is that we all work together. When we have a student who has a difficulty, the staff works together to try and help that child. There's an incredible spirit and the leadership, in Principal Maria Kotch, is a true example. She walks the walk and she respects our opinions and programs.




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